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Posts Tagged ‘book signings’

Hey! It’s Monday! I hope your weekend was a good one.

Almost three years ago, I wrote a post about the myth of the book store signing (here’s a link if you want to read it:¬†https://katemariecollins.wordpress.com/2014/10/03/the-myth-of-the-book-store-signing/). Now that I’m doing these on a monthly basis, I wanted to talk about the reality of these events.

First off, don’t go into one expecting to have a crowd of people waiting for you. Most often than not, people will think you work for the store initially. At my first Barnes & Noble event, I barely sold more books than I got asked where the restroom was. LOL. I turned it into a game at one point.

Second, expect to have long blocks of time (could be an hour straight) where no one comes over and wants to know who you are. You shouldn’t be on your phone much, or reading a book. Basically, don’t do something that makes people think they would be interrupting you. You’re going to have to sit there, smile, try to engage people who keep walking past you, and be bored.

Third, be nice to the staff! Don’t be that jerk author who is demanding that they announce you’re there every 15 minutes because there’s people in the store but no one’s paying attention to you. Don’t sigh, look bored, and snap at staff who are really there to do their job. Which doesn’t include catering to you and your whims. They gave you a table, chair, and ordered your books (or let you bring your own). They don’t get paid to fetch you water, or manhandle customers into talking to you.

Think of it this way. If you walked into a book store and saw an author, how would you approach them? How would you expect them to respond to you? Would you go up to someone who’s got their face in a Kindle or a phone? Who wore a look of utter boredom and exasperation?

In order to draw in readers, you have to be the type of author you’d want to approach. Yes, it’s a major accomplishment to get ‘big enough’ to get a book store signing. That doesn’t mean you get to unleash your ego and let it run amok. Put your ego aside and be humble.

Oh, and make sure you’re not bathed in perfume or cologne. You want to be clean, but a lot of people have allergies to scents. They won’t come closer if the aroma’s so strong that they can taste it from ten feet away.

BB

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Hey!

Not sure how many have missed me, but I’m still here and kicking!

For almost two years now, I’ve been in a rabbit hole of sorts. Losing my mom in 2015, followed by my dad in 2016. My youngest being assaulted at school, and the case still pending. Life in general put a lot of things on hold. Primarily, promotion and this blog. First, it was the funerals. Then it was helping my sister with the estate and simply sorting through over 70 years of accumulated stuff in their house. Some things came home with me, and other things got sold. This is what happens when your parents die. You have to make decisions that aren’t always easy to make. And, while I have great faith in our judicial system thanks to my dad, the pace at which things move has been a learning experience. I keep telling myself it’s research in a way. If I ever need an accurate timeline for an assault case like this for a book, I have first hand experience now.

Back in May, I started to climb out of the rabbit hole I found myself in. Surgery finally happened, and the estate was settled. I’m on a path that will see me at a healthy weight that I can maintain.

I’ve got a monthly gig at a Barnes & Noble in Federal Way, Washington now. I’m working hard on simply getting back on the promotional horse.

As authors, we can’t sit back and think that it’s up to our publisher to promote our book. We can’t blame them for bad sales, or that we didn’t get into a local book store. We can’t email them, demanding to find out what they plan to do for us without bringing something to the table.

Plain and simple, authors have to market their books. They have to promote them. They cannot sit by and expect magic to simply happen.

Being an author these days is all about what we will do to promote. It’s not up the the publisher. They’ve got hundreds if not thousands of titles to promote! How arrogant is it for me to assume that mine will be the top of the list?

Stop blaming your publisher for low sales and take a hard look in the mirror. My sales right now are a direct result of the work I let slide. To refuse to take responsibility and whine (yes, I said whine) that it’s all because of what someone else did or didn’t do is reprehensible.

My publisher didn’t write them. I wrote them.

My publisher doesn’t need to promote them. I need to promote them.

School is back in session. The house belongs to me and the cats during the day. There’s no more long phone calls between me and my sister about what to do with this or that family treasure. There’s no more doctor appointments to get ready for surgery. There may still be court hearings to attend, but not for a while because of what happened at the last one (nope, can’t go into details).

Yes, promoting is hard work. It takes time, and has little immediate results. It gets frustrating when you do things day in and day out and no one buys a book that month. But it’s part of being an author.

Suck it up, Buttercup. There’s only one person stopping you from the sales you think you should be getting. Go stand in front of the mirror, give yourself a reality check, and get to work.

BB

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Hey! Are you there? I know I haven’t posted for a while and thank you for not unfollowing my blog because of it.

Life happened.

On May 25th, I had surgery. The weeks leading up to it were full of taking care of things I wouldn’t be able to for a while afterward. Then, it was about recovery. Happy to say things are going really well! Still have a weight limit for lifting, and haven’t been cleared to start coffee again, but I can work with those.

In the weeks leading up to surgery, I had ideas for ‘Guarding Amber’ (the follow up to ‘Guarding Charon’). I just didn’t have the focus I needed. My mind went to a million little things that I’d not done for months (years?) that demanded my attention at last. Even if it only took 5 minutes or less to do. I was organizing our cd cabinet. Preparing the house for the oldest to come home for the summer from college. Heck, I even went out and edged/trimmed our yard.

This weekend, I came to the realization that everything was going to be fine. I’m healing well, not had any big issues, and that’s when it all clicked. I was finally ready to put the surgery, etc, in the past and move forward with life again.

Writing’s not something you can simply do, put aside, and get rich off of. It takes a lot of time to write a story, even more to get it edited and in shape for your publisher. Add to that the hours needed every single week to promote your books and it’s easy to see why a lot of people give up after just one book. Because you’re putting in the work with almost zero monetary payback for up to a decade.

But, if you DO put in the time and the work, then you might actually get that brass ring.

Speaking of brass rings….I grabbed one! I’m going to be doing a book signing at the Federal Way, WA Barnes & Noble on June 25th! If you live nearby, come by and say hello!

Internationally renowned

BB

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Well, last night was the big night. I’ve now got my first official book store signing under my belt.

Hold on a minute, I need more coffee. BRB

Much better. I’m way too tired today for my own good. LOL

So, last night. I sold three books, met a few readers, got ignored by more people than stopped by to even say hello. Which I expected, to be honest. I’m still an unknown. Not many people know that there’s an author out there named KateMarie Collins. I didn’t go into the evening imagining I’d have people waiting to buy my books, shake my hand, or I’d sell out. Did I dream that maybe that would happen? Sure. Every author does. But I knew better than to expect it.

SAM_1818

To me, events like this aren’t about selling books. They’re about connecting to one reader who hasn’t heard of you. It’s creating that base of readers who will stay loyal to your writing for decades. It’s about the meet and greet and approachability over the sales.

One of the books I signed was going to be a gift to an 11-12 year old girl who loves to read. Another went to someone whose own small business I’ve patronized (Frakking Bombs…they make the BEST bath bombs…seriously, go find them on Etsy!), who was kind enough to return the support.

One person I met is a rabid reader, but was only out for a short time and had no money. Me handing her postcards and business cards and spending five minutes talking with her may lead to sales down the road. I won’t know, unless she contacts me, but it’s a start.

And we all have to start somewhere.

BB

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Hey! It’s the afternoon, technically, but had a busy morning. LOL

I want to talk about the difference between being an author and being a diva. Trust me, you want to be an author far more than a diva.

We all make mistakes. Every one of us. We don’t read an email correctly, miss a word in a sentence, want to tweak a story one more time. You can be an adult about things, realize it’s time to let go of your story, and move on. Or you can throw a hissy fit, publicly denounce your publisher for not catering to your every whim and changing rules just for you, and hope someone sympathizes with you.

The adult author will grow, learn, and become respected. The diva? Not so much. People won’t want to work with someone who can’t take no for an answer. They don’t cater to untried authors. They won’t bend the rules if you don’t make them millions each year.

Being published isn’t about having the world recognize your ‘genius’. It’s not about having your ego stroked or throwing fits and lobbing threats when you don’t get your way. It’s about a partnership where everyone involved is trying to do the same thing – put out the best book they can – and working within the established rules.

It’s about give and take, not diva grandstanding. It’s about encouraging and nurturing the partnership, not tearing it apart because you didn’t get your way.

My book signing is this coming Sunday, the 8th. I’m not going to scream and threaten not to show up just because their policy is that the authors get a certain percentage. I’m not going to blame them if no one shows up. I’m not going to expect them to set up and tear down everything. Nor do I anticipate them having champagne out for me to drink for two hours.

It’s a partnership. I sell some books, make some money, get exposure, meet readers. They make money and give me space. They’re not going to treat me any differently than any other new author. Because that’s what I am. I’m not J. K. Rowling. I’m not Stephen King. I’m KateMarie Collins.

And most of the readers of the world still don’t know who that is.

BB

P.S. Don’t forget! 7-9 pm on Sunday, Nov. 8th at The Book Warehouse in The Outlet Collection in Auburn, WA!!!!

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Good morning! Hope all is well with everyone.

Now that the initial excitement of knowing I have a book signing in a bookstore has subsided, it’s time to consider everything else that has to happen in the next two weeks.

The books are ordered. New postcards, too! Everything’s been shipped to me and should be here with almost a week to spare.

I know what I’ll be wearing. The mall-wide event is meant to be rather classy/upscale, so out from the depths of my closet came my little black dress. It’s now all clean and ready to go. A friend will be stopping by later this week to help me decide on the jewelry. Hair and nails will wait until just beforehand. If I do those too early, it doesn’t look right that day. I know, I know. In this respect, I somewhat envy male authors. LOL.

Now is when I start thinking about all the small details. And begin to obsess over them. Do I want to put out a small dish of chocolates? Sprinkle snowflake confetti on the table? Is it better to use book stands and keep the other copies under the table or simply stack them on the table? Did I find the holiday themed table runner and put it in the box with the other display items? Not sure? Check for the third time that day.

On top of this, there’s the fear that every author who doesn’t have name recognition has. Will anyone even come talk to me? What if I don’t sell a single book? Will the store ever want me to come back?

Writing is all about taking risks. We take them in our stories. It happens when we submit to publishers. And we leap that chasm and hope to make it across with every single public appearance. For every ‘what if’ that’s negative, there’s a positive one.

What if no one buys a book – what if you sell out

What if no one talks to me – what if you’re voice goes out because of all the talking

What if they want ebooks – what if my sales skyrocket the next day

So, in the deep throes of panic, flip that coin over. Regardless of how many books I sell or people I meet, I’ve already won. Because I took the risk in the first place.

BB

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Every year, a mall (The Outlet Collection) in the area has an event called ‘The Magical Night of Giving’. They sell tickets (proceeds go to local non-profits) and the mall is open that evening just to those who have them. Stores offer up huge deals to kick off the holiday shopping season, there’s door prize drawings, etc. It’s a pretty big event.

This year, I’m going to be part of it.

From 7-9 pm, I’ll be meeting readers and signing books at The Book Warehouse inside the mall!!!

So, if you’re going to be any where near Auburn, WA on November 8th, consider buying a ticket and coming by to say hello!

Signed books make for GREAT holiday gifts!

BB

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